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big buck hunter pro

The original Big Buck Hunter Pro game for Windows Phone had the misfortune of launching right before Windows Phone 8 last year. It ran a bit poorly on early Windows Phone 7 devices, so many of us looked forward to improved performance on Windows Phone 8. Unfortunately, the game proved incompatible with the new mobile OS and remains that way almost a year later.

On the brighter side, developer Merge Interactive and Microsoft released a Windows 8 and RT version entitled Big Buck Hunter Pro Adventure earlier this year. On top of an awkwardly long name, Adventure brings all the fun of the Windows Phone and original arcade game, a bounty of extra content, and a new helping of Xbox Achievements. Get the full rundown after the break.

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Remember that huge five week long game drought we just went through? We didn’t get official word from Microsoft until the fourth straight week without a release, after the drought had almost passed (and not for lack of trying on our part). As every week went by, your humble author and most avid Windows Phone gamers became increasingly distressed. The whole situation brought to light the ever-worsening handling of Xbox games for Windows Phone by the platform holder.

It also led to the creation of this very series of editorials about how Xbox games for Windows Phone can be turned around. Microsoft has a wonderful gaming synergy on its hands with Xbox Live and Windows Phone, if only they will make proper use of it. We’ve already explored several ways to do so: overhaul the certification system that’s completely inappropriate for mobile games, get internal forces within Microsoft on the same page about the value of Xbox Live, and then promote Windows Phone directly alongside Xbox consoles.

Today we follow up on that last point by looking at the lack of public relations management that affects mobile Xbox games and makes it difficult for both Windows Phone and Windows 8 developers and publishers to promote their own games.

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Yesterday’s delisting of Turn N Run – literally the night before our review went live, and only six days after the game’s release – highlights a large and ongoing problem in the world of Xbox Windows Phone games. Since the debut of Windows Phone 8, incompatibility with the new OS has been discovered among a number of Xbox WP7 titles. Each of these games has been completely delisted from the web version of the Windows Phone Store, and either partially or fully removed from Store searches on actual Windows Phones.

Read on to learn what games have been affected so far, and how Microsoft may be mishandling the Windows Phone 8 incompatibility issues in more ways than one.

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The Windows Phone 7 version of Big Buck Hunter Pro has a few rough edges, but I still enjoyed it overall. Light gun-style games, i.e. shooting galleries, are just plain fun. And heck, the combination of shooting defenseless animals while an announcer grossly mispronounces everything he says, how can you not love that? Unfortunately, though, the game has just been pulled from the Windows Phone Store.

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Big Buck Hunter Pro: Xbox on Windows Phone Review

Big Buck Hunter Pro is the popular 2006 installment in the arcade game franchise from PlayMechanix. The Big Buck Hunter franchise continues to survive despite the death of the arcade industry. Walk into any American movie theater or pizza buffet cool enough to have arcade machines and you’ll likely see a Pro cabinet or one of its sequels there, resplendent with two shotguns (one green, the other orange) and some goofy antler molding around the screen and marquis.

In 2009 and 2010, the franchise’s expanded even more with the ports of Big Buck Hunter Pro for the Nintendo Wii, iPhone and other mobile platforms, and even a plug-and-play TV game. All but the Wii version were developed by Merge Interactive. Merge is working on the upcoming Big Buck Hunter Pro Adventure for Windows 8, but before its arrival they’ve released a Windows Phone 7 port of the iOS game. Does their familiarity with the franchise produce a worthy and accessible hunting game? Mostly, except for some annoying issues with the port.

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You know what Windows Phone needs? A good hunting game. I mean, Deer Hunter 3D suffered from a broken Achievement and cost three times as much as the iOS version (see above photo for iOS screenshot). Who wants that? Thankfully, this week hunting gets another chance with Big Buck Hunter Pro, which was previously announced for Windows 8 but not Windows Phone 7. Surprise! The game comes from Merge Interactive and Microsoft Studios.

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